Palo Alto Mayor reveals she was sexually assaulted twice, cites Christine Blasey Ford as inspiration

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Peninsula politician is revealing a secret, that she was the victim of sexual assault. The incidents happened decades ago.

But Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss said she was inspired by Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, to come forward.

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"I've only told one person ever," Kniss said. She has only shared the confession with her sister -- that she is a sexual assault survivor. "It's liberating and frightening."

Kniss says she was assaulted twice in the 1960s, the first time, when she was a teenager getting a ride home from a party by a friend. "He decided to take a shortcut, when it turned out to be a really unpleasant assault."

The second assault happened years later when she was attacked by a coworker at a hotel. Both times Kniss said she got away and narrowly escaped being raped.

"Both times I was caught totally off guard," Kniss said.

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She was inspired to tell her story because of Blasey Ford, and her sexual assault claim against Judge Kavanaugh.

"I thought, if I can help anyone...if anyone is willing to come forward, we can start a movement that says this happened to women," she said.

Activists have been rallying in support of Blasey Ford all week. People were making signs for a solidarity vigil in Palo Alto Sunday night, Blasey Ford's hometown.

Just days before Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford will testify in Washington, the mayor knows people will ask about the timing of her #MeToo revelation.

"Why'd she come out now? Is she trying to influence what's happening in Washington? Well, I am trying to influence what's happening in Washington, no question," Kniss added.

For more stories, photos, and video on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, visit this page.
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